Alleged Russian agent Maria Butina appears to make a plea deal with federal prosecutors. Butina’s lawyers and federal prosecutors have filed a request for a court hearing on Monday so that the accused Russian agent can change her plea from not-guilty, a joint filing shows.
30-year-old Butina, a gun-rights activist spent months in U.S. custody, She was charged with conspiracy and acting as an agent of a foreign government, and initially pleaded not guilty.
The alleged Russian agent is being held in an Alexandria, Virginia jail following her indictment by a grand jury earlier this year. She has been accused of working to infiltrate the National Rifle Association and other US political groups. Her lawyers, so far, have argued that she was simply attempting to improve her relationships with Americans.
the Russian embassy in Washington has called Ms. Butina's charges politically motivated, They have repeatedly said they view Ms. Butina as a political prisoner and hostage who is being unfairly prosecuted.
The Russian diplomat said that Russian officials visited Butina on Nov. 27 and sent a note to the U.S. State Department about Ms. Butina’s situation.
Butina will likely be forced to return to Russia upon release from jail. She is currently being held in solitary confinement in a northern Virginia jail. She and her lawyer have repeatedly, and unsuccessfully, argued that she should be released on house arrest or at least moved out of solitary confinement.